What Is Dandruff?

The skin on your scalp renews it cells every 24 days, just as any other skin cell on your body. New skin cells are formed underneath while the old cells slough off to uncover the new ones.  Scalp flakes are actually those old dead skin cells that naturally fall off the scalp.

A normal scalp has a pH of around 5 and a rich base of oil glands that keep the scalp and hair lubricated. Dry scalp and its further irritation and itchiness can be caused by using strong detergents, hard water, or change in your diet.  In addition, the lack of natural hair oils makes hair dry without natural lubrication. Seeing dullness in the hair may be one of the early signs of dry scalp.

Dry scalp can be treated easily by choosing mild shampoos and natural oil moisturizers to nourish dry scalp. Natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar rinse will help to restore the pH on your scalp and remove build up left behind by shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products.

Dandruff issue is slightly different. While dandruff is caused by excessive natural hair oil (sebum) production, it is greasy and yellowish white in color. Dandruff flakes are larger than dry scalp flakes and are harder to come off the scalp. Someone with dandruff will experience itching and usually has scalp odor.

According to the latest studies, dandruff may be partly caused by harmless yeast colonies on the human scalp.  In some people, the yeast starts to feed on the excess oil and dead skin cells on the scalp, causing the skin cells to shed more frequently and clump into flakes.

If you have dandruff, scalp hygiene is the key to recover. Cleaning out all the dandruff flakes using medicated dandruff shampoo with selenium sulfide, zinc, or ketoconazole will wash off excess oil and dead skin cells accumulated on your scalp. That leaves the yeast and fungi with fewer sources to continue to feed on. The natural remedy for dandruff is tea tree oil, yarrow oil and pepper mint oils, which help by balancing the pH levels and help the hair follicles and cells to be clean and unclogged of debris by promoting scalp with stronger blood circulation.

Please note that both extreme scalp dryness and dandruff problem could be a first symptom of certain health issues. This is especially important when a medical condition like hormonal misbalance, eczema or psoriasis is to blame.